Ducati MotoGP Test Rider Casey Stoner Fastest On First Day Of Pre-Season Testing At Sepang

Ducati MotoGP Test Rider Casey Stoner Fastest On First Day Of Pre-Season Testing At Sepang

© 2017, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

FIM MotoGP World Championship Test

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

January 30, 2017

Day One Lap Times (all on Michelin tires):

1. Casey Stoner, Australia (Ducati), 1:59.680*

2. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:59.797

3. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 2:00.129

4. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Ducati), 2:00.134

5. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Suzuki), 2:00.489

6. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 2:00.569

7. Jonas Folger, Germany (Yamaha), 2:00.643

8. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 2:00.694

9. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 2:00.738

10. Hector Barbera, Spain (Ducati), 2:00.743

11. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 2:00.850

12. Scott Redding, UK (Ducati), 2:00.853

13. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda), 2:00.970

14. Johann Zarco, France (Yamaha), 2:01.224

15. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 2:01.272

16. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 2:01.338

17. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Ducati), 2:01.349

18. Loris Baz, France (Ducati), 2:01.352

19. Takuya Tsuda, Japan (Suzuki), 2:01.812*

20. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 2:01.890

21. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 2:01.926

22. Jack Miller, Australia (Honda), 2:01.943

23. Kouta Nozane, Japan (Yamaha), 2:02.187*

24. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Japan (Yamaha), 2:02.291*

25. Tito Rabat, Spain (Honda), 2:02.315

26. Sam Lowes, UK (Aprilia), 2:02.943

27. Bradley Smith, UK (KTM), 2:03.033

* = Test Rider

More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

POSITIVE START FOR MOVISTAR YAMAHA TO SEPANG PRE-SEASON TEST

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi successfully completed the first day of official IRTA MotoGP testing in 2017 at the Sepang International circuit in Malaysia, taking third and eighth place in the timesheets.

Sepang (Malaysia), 30th January 2017

Today, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders proved to have kept their form despite the winter break, with riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi ending the first day of the Sepang MotoGP Official Testing in third and eighth place respectively.

Former Moto3 World Champion and new Yamaha entry Viñales made it seem as if he had been riding the YZR-M1 for years right from the start of the pre-season test at the Sepang International circuit. He was eager to head out on track as soon as the lights turned green and, despite suffering from a lack of grip in the early stages, the Spaniard booked steady progress needing less than three hours to secure third place on the leader board with a 2‘00.128s lap, 0.447s from first.

After a short lunch break the 22-year-old continued his testing programme. Though he was unable to further improve his time, he took some valuable steps in terms of bettering the bike‘s set-up and increasing the tyre life, before rain spoiled the last two hours of the session. He wrapped up the day in third place and in a good position for tomorrow, when testing resumes.

Teammate Rossi undertook a similar testing schedule, despite not being a 100% fit. The Italian suffered from a severe headache, but didn‘t let that stop him from making some kilometres aboard the 2017 YZR-M1 in the Malaysian heat.

The nine-time World Champion had as his main goal to verify the data found at the tests in November, in order to build on it over the next two days. His pace steadily increased throughout his morning and afternoon stints, signalling his positive feeling on the bike by setting the eighth fastest time, a 2‘00.695s, 1.014s from the front. Towards the end of the day the Doctor worked on the performance of the engine and the electronics until rain dampened the track. He didn‘t further attempt to better his pace, leaving him eighth in the standings.??

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will be back on track tomorrow for a second day of testing from 10am – 6pm (circuit time, GMT+8).

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

It‘s been a positive first few hours of testing in Sepang for us and, so far, we are quite satisfied. The progress is going well and we are on schedule. In the beginning of the test we suffered a bit from a lack of grip when Maverick started his first run, so he couldn‘t ride as he wanted, but we tried some different things and now it‘s much better. Valentino wasn‘t feeling 100% fit this morning, but he still headed out on track because we were expecting rain in the afternoon. His and Maverick‘s pace started to pick up throughout the first stints when the track was cooler, though we honestly haven‘t been focussing on setting fast lap times. Today our target was to confirm our findings from November and we did do so without any issues. We also worked on the engine, the electronics and the rear tyre life. The changes that we made improved the feelings for the riders on how the bike is performing. It doesn‘t look like the temperatures affected the riders too much, but today was only the first day, there are two more to come.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

We have been working a lot to prepare before the race season starts and honestly I‘m quite surprised. The first day is always difficult, but I‘m feeling OK on the bike and physically good, so I‘m happy and I want to go back to working on the bike some more. We tried many things today to get a good package and now we focus on comparing many things. We‘re doing some difficult work these days before we go out to set a fast lap time, but it‘s really useful for the next few tests.

VALENTINO ROSSI

The first feeling wasn‘t so bad, because in this session we finally have the ’real‘ two bikes that we will use during the championship and they are better than the first prototype that we tested in November, from many points of view. Unfortunately, it was a difficult day today. This morning I woke up with a very bad headache and until 12 o‘clock I wasn‘t in good shape. After that we were able to do some laps and the feeling was good. In the afternoon we had to finish the work but it started to rain, so we have to wait and hope that in the next two days we will have good track conditions. We will try some new things tomorrow. Today we worked on the engine and the electronics and found some good stuff.

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

First track action in Sepang ends early with Australian test rider and former Champion fastest

Ducati Team test rider and double FIM MotoGP™ World Champion Casey Stoner led the way at the top of the timesheets on the first day of the first Official Test of 2017 – ahead of Ducati race rider and 2016 Malaysian GP winner Andrea Dovizioso as the Italian factory locked out the top. Behind the two red machines was Maverick Viñales in P3, showing his teeth once again after topping timesheets first time out on his new Movistar Yamaha machine in Valencia. Rain cut the day short as it began around two hours before the end of the session, putting paid to any attempt to better times.

Stoner put in 32 laps with a best of 1:59.680, ‘DesmoDovi’ 29 laps with a best of 1:59.797. The two men were the only riders below the two-minute barrier. New arrival in red Jorge Lorenzo was further down the order in P17; a 2:01.349 on a 2016 machine, before rain stopped any further advances. One of the Ducati Team’s most high-profile additions in Malaysia is a strikingly new exhaust, something that proved a key focus in the initial stages of testing for the factory as the red machines were put through their paces.

Viñales’ 2:00.129 in P3 was his best over 54 laps on his first track day of 2017, with teammate Valentino Rossi on a 2:00.694 to go P8 – a second down on Stoner after 27 laps – with new additions left off the agenda for the first day back on track for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP. Both Rossi and Viñales also tested at Sepang late in 2016 in a private test shared with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookies Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco. Fastest rookie on Day 1 was Folger in an impressive P7, who was up the timesheets from the off. The German’s best of the day was a 2:00.643 after 40 laps, with his French teammate putting in a best of 2:01.224 over 69 laps. Both premier class newcomers got in some wet track time late in the afternoon.

Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) was the early leader as the day began and finished up the session in a notable P4 as he moves to the team to pilot a Ducati for the first time, with new teammate Karel Abraham further down the timesheets as he returns to MotoGP™ from a year in WorldSBK. Bautista also got in some running in the wet later in the session, and ended the day after 53 laps with a best of 2:00.134.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s charge was led by Andrea Iannone on day 1 as the Italian put his new MotoGP™ machine up into the top five. The ‘Maniac’ put in 44 laps, with an impressive best of 2:00.489. Rookie teammate Alex Rins, who is getting back to full strength following a crash in testing in Valencia, was down in P20 with a 2:01.890, but showed a clear progression – and ventured out even after the rain started.

LCR Honda Team’s Cal Crutchlow was the quickest Honda as he finished day 1 in P6, with a 2:00.569 his best time after 44 laps. Repsol Honda Team got 2017 in gear in P9 and P13, with reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez leading teammate Dani Pedrosa by two tenths. Marquez did 56 laps with a best of 2:00.738, Pedrosa 44 laps with a top time of 2:00.970. EG0,0 Marc VDS Honda duo Jack Miller and Tito Rabat had a slightly tougher day at the office, with the Assen 2016 winner on a 2:01.943 and the former Moto2™ World Champion a further four tenths back. Honda were another manufacturer with a new exhaust as one of their key points of investigation for the test, and both Marquez and Pedrosa also took to the track in the rain.

Hector Barbera rounded out the top ten for Avintia Racing with a 2:00.743 out of 38 laps, with Octo Pramac Yakhnich duo Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding in hot pursuit. Petrucci, on the 2017 Ducati, clocked a best of 2:00.850 – with his teammate on the 2016 machine a mere three-thousandths in arrears on a 2:00.853.

Aleix Espargaro led the Aprilia charge for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini in P15 with a 2:01.272, with the Noale machines sporting a new fairing. Rookie teammate Sam Lowes did a best of 2:02.943, but did get a significant amount of track time – 50 laps – something important after the Brit sat out some previous sessions in Valencia and Jerez following some big crashes. Espargaro completed 36 laps.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith got back to work on their 2017 project as full factory riders for the first time, with Espargaro putting in a 2:01.338 and Smith a 2:03.033. The younger of the two Espargaro brothers also ventured out in the rain in the final part of the session as KTM prepare to go racing full time in the premier class, eager to test out the bike – which sports some key differences to its competitors such as the tubular steel chassis – in different conditions.

Day 2 testing begins at 10am local time on Tuesday (3am CET), with live programming on motogp.com as the action unfolds.

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Positive start for Petrux and Scott on the opening day of Irta test at Sepang

Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding ended with positive feelings the first of three days of official IRTA test at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Petrux started off well by lapping fast with his new Ducati Desmosedici GP 2017 and working hard with used tires to gain confidence on race pace. The rider from Terni completed 34 laps finishing with a best time of 2:00.850 which earned him 11th place.

Scott got back on his Ducati Desmosedici GP 2016 finding a good feeling and ending just 3 milliseconds down on his teammate. The English rider completed 44 laps on the first day of testing.

A downpour that fell at the malaysian circuit shortly after mid-day break, prevented then riders to get back on track in the afternoon.

Danilo Petrucci

11th – 2:00.850

It’s always a thrill to get back on track after the winter break. I am pleased with the work we have done today. The bike is working well. It’s a big step forward compared to the 2015 version. The bike has great potential and I feel I have it also. I can do better but I’m very happy with this first day. I really enjoyed coming back on track.

Scott Redding

12th – 2:00.853

It was a quite good day. We worked a lot on used tires and I must say that the feelings are good. It was great to be back lapping after a few weeks. We made some kind of shake-down trying to find the right direction to take for the next two days. If it rains we’ll try anyway but without taking unnecessary risks.

More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:

Miller and Rabat make steady start in Sepang

After a long winter layoff Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat were on track for the first time in 2017 today, as they started three days of testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

The weather forecast promised rain by late morning, which ensured an early pit lane exit for most of the 27 MotoGP riders participating in today’s test, as they looked to take advantage of the hot and dry conditions.

In the end the rain didn’t materialise until late in the afternoon, giving Miller and Rabat much needed dry track time to continue evaluating the revised chassis they first tested in Valencia last year.

The dry conditions also allowed both riders to get a feel for four new tyres from Michelin. The French manufacturer provided three new fronts, all evolution versions of the tyres first seen at the final race of 2016 in Valencia, and one new rear with a slightly stiffer construction to aid drive grip.

Miller and Rabat are both hoping for more dry track time when testing resumes tomorrow but the weather forecast doesn’t look promising, with rain showers predicted to disrupt the penultimate day of testing from early morning onwards.

While rain is nothing new at Sepang, resurfacing work carried out last year means the track is now slow to dry, with the result that rain showers are far more disruptive to the testing program than in previous years.

Jack Miller: 22nd – 2’01.942 – 52 Laps

“Overall I’m pretty satisfied. Today was all about getting into the swing of things again after such a long break, not crashing and testing a few things on the bike. I like the new chassis a lot and the new compound Michelins, which we tested for the first time today, are an interesting development. Still, there’s a lot of room for improvement between now and the end of the test, so I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow. Hopefully the track will have dried out after the rain this afternoon and we can get back out there and get in some decent laps.”

Tito Rabat: 25th – 2’02.315 – 38 Laps

“Today was a pretty good day. I’ve been a long time off the bike and returning to the track for the first time is always a little bit exciting because everything seems so fast until you start to adapt to the speed again. But today was positive; I have more confidence with the bike, my team is working well and, step by step, we improved as the day progressed. Unfortunately the first day was cut short by the rain, but that has given us some time to go over the plan for tomorrow, when the aim is to improve again.”

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

IANNONE AND RINS KICK- OFF 2017 SEASON AT SEPANG

Team Suzuki Press Office – January 30.

The 2017 MotoGP World Championship has officially begun at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia as Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins got their first taste of the updated GSX-RR machines following the long winter stop.

The two riders are taking a different testing plan, according to their skills; the more-experienced Iannone is already trying some comparisons between the standard GSX-RR used in 2016 and the evolutions developed over the winter, while Rins is still taking some time to get acquainted with the performance of a MotoGP machine, working on his riding style more than on machine’s improvements. Both riders reported very positive feelings for their first day,

Today’s work for the team was not focused on the timing, but was more on the technical development; the 2017 machine is not a completely new bike but the result of some updates to 2016. This meaning that the work asked of the riders is mainly to get well acquainted with the standard machine to have solid references and then make any comparisons with the evolution bike, so that they can address the engineers’ work. Being so early in the season the job is still a preliminary one, meant to define the direction for the future developments.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“I’d call this a good start of the season, the work with both riders has been positive, with both of them we are proceeding step-by-step to introduce the improvements that has been developed during the winter. We are doing intense work collecting information, today we could do many laps, therefore we have a significant amount of data to work on tonight, also to determine how to adapt for tomorrow. We are introducing many improvements and so the objective of these three days is to decide what is positive and what is ineffective, so that we get the path to follow. Also we’re happy because Andrea confirmed the good feeling he has with the GSX-RR and Alex showed many improvements with the machine as well as more and more confidence.”

Andrea Iannone:

“For the moment everything is fine. Of course after a long break the main thing is to try to find back the confidence as quick as possible and find a good pace. We could already have some outcomes on the machines, it is very important to keep the comparative so we are working a lot switching the standard 2016 with the 2017 evolution one. We don’t have any decisions yet, of course, it’s long work that requires patience, but we’re happy with all the information we’ve collected. The relationship with the crew is very positive, everybody works really hard but the mood makes me very comfortable, I’d say my feeling now is really easy.”

Alex Rins :

“I feel very good on the bike, I believe we have done a positive step since Valencia and now I’m starting to get the confidence to be more and more effective. It’s a good feeling to be back on the bike after winter, the back is not 100% fit but I did a good preparation and I’m recovering. The good thing is that I get better and better feeling with the machine, this is a further push to improve. We found a good set-up with the machine and we started to work on the development. For today we mainly focused in finding a good set-up that makes me confident to take the references with the 2016 standard GSX-RR, so that tomorrow when we will introduce some bigger improvements in the bike I can give affordable feedback to the team with proper comparatives. The whole crew is supporting me at the best, they have big experience in helping a young rider to get acquainted, to take confidence and to improve.”

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech3:

 Folger and Zarco get up to speed on opening shakedown at Sepang

The 2017 Monster Yamaha Tech3 line up of Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco got straight to work on the first day of testing at Sepang today, as the highly anticipated MotoGP action returned to the track after the winter break. Jonas Folger produced a notable performance to finish in 7th and as the fastest rookie, with his best time leaving him only 0.963 the top. Whilst Johann Zarco consistently built up his pace as he completed more laps than any other full-time MotoGP rider, before ending up just half a second back from Valentino Rossi. The promising riders also completed their first wet laps, after the rain fell in the afternoon, with positive results. The test will resume tomorrow at 10:00 local time where the pair confidently intend to continue their momentum.

Jonas Folger

Position: 7th Time : 2’00.643 Laps: 40

“Today was positive and I am happy with what we accomplished. I had a good feeling as soon as we got going this morning, so we only changed a few settings. After lunch, the team and I aimed to make a step forward with regards to the front of the bike because I felt like I was already close to the limit with my lap times and we saw that I could improve with the braking. Therefore, we made a big adjustment, but when I went back out, the weather interfered. However, we have two more days left to try this setting properly but overall, I am really happy about today, not only with the result, but also with our work. In addition, I was able to ride in the rain for the first time, which was very useful and I felt positive on the wet Michelin tyres. I went out twice and it was important to experience this because it’s different with the brakes. We gained a lot of data and I have started to understand the bike a lot more so I am excited to see what we can do tomorrow.”

Johann Zarco

Position: 14th Time: 2’01.224 Laps: 69

“I am happy to be back on the YZR-M1 and we collected a large amount of significant information today. I have not been on the bike for a long time due to the winter break so I took the time and step-by-step, I gained a good feeling. I undertook a lot of laps, but I didn’t just push for two laps and then pit, so when I started, I relaxed and did it how I wanted. In the end, I can be happy about this, even if I could not be as quick as I aimed to be, but I know this will come. I also completed my first wet laps which is important as we must prepare for the season and be ready for any weather condition. I went out when the circuit was fully wet and again, when it was drying, and I got a positive feel for it. I know we will improve every day so I am looking forward to getting back on track.”


More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Day 1 of IRTA tests concludes at Sepang with quickest time for Ducati Team test-rider Casey Stoner. Second place on the timesheets for Andrea Dovizioso, while Jorge Lorenzo ends the day in provisional seventeenth

The first day of IRTA testing at Sepang concluded this afternoon, as the rain, which began to fall on the Malaysian circuit at around 4 pm, made it impossible to improve times anymore. As a result the session came to an end with Casey Stoner, present at the circuit as test-rider, at the top of the timesheets with a time of 1’59.680 while Andrea Dovizioso was just behind in second with a time of 1’59.797. Jorge Lorenzo, making his debut in factory Ducati Team colours, was in seventeenth place with a time of 2’01.349.

Casey Stoner (Ducati Test Team #27) – 32 laps – 1’59.680 (1st)

“Today was positive and the best thing about it was that we got a lot of dry track time. It’s been hanging in the balance really with the weather because the track takes so long to dry and if it rains at all within twelve hours, you’re going to get very little track time. It’s great that we got out there straightaway this morning and started putting in some good laps, reconfirming what we felt earlier in the week. We got a lot of comparisons done today so it was really good to get a feeling and direction with the bike. We still have a lot more work to do, it was disappointing that it rained but hopefully on Wednesday when we come back on track we can pick up where we left off and move this bike further forward, especially in the chassis area.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 29 laps – 1’59.797 (2nd)

“The first day of testing in 2017 went pretty well and I am pleased because we showed good pace right from the start, using the same bike as Valencia and without needing to make any particular changes. Without the wings we had to adapt to the bike, and we still have a lot of fine-tuning work to do, both with the electronics and on the set-up, because the bike behaves differently, but in any case we are maintaining a good competitive level and it’s always important to start off with this sort of confirmation. Starting off on the right foot helps us continue with the development, and if you add to this the fact that I set my quickest time on a medium tyre, then we have to be satisfied.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 45 laps – 2’01.349 (17th)

“At this circuit I noticed a bigger difference between my Ducati and the bike that I have ridden for the last nine years. Now we have to do two things to be quicker: the first is to gradually adapt the bike to the way I like it, and the second and more important, is to know how to do that and understand how to be quicker. I still need some more time for that, more than I hoped for, but in any case it’s still too early to come to conclusions. It’s only a question of time and laps on the track, so we will work in this direction. The important thing is that the other Ducati bikes were very quick, and this means that the bike has a lot of potential.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

LCR HONDA AND CRUTCHLOW KICK OFF 2017 IN SEPANG

Today saw the eagerly-awaited return of MotoGP action to the racetrack, as the first official preseason testing session of 2017 began at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. The LCR Honda Team welcomed back their British rider Cal Crutchlow following the winter break, ready to restart a long journey which will see the Lucio Cecchinello-run outfit compete with the best in the world once more in the 18-round MotoGP World Championship.

It was a positive start to the year, with Crutchlow finishing the first of three days’ tests as the sixth fastest rider out on track. A two-time race winner in 2016, he was using the same frame as he used at the end of last season, and in terms of engine was working on a different configuration in order to provide feedback to HRC as they define their 2017 motor.

With rain falling in the afternoon, the track was unable to dry before the end of the day’s session, and although a few riders took to the damp surface, Crutchlow preferred to avoid any possible mishap by staying in the pits. He instead focused on working with the team and the data collected to plan day two of testing on Tuesday.

#35 Cal Crutchlow – 6th (2’00.569 – lap 27 of 44)

“First of all, I’d like to say how nice it was to get back to the LCR Honda Team after a couple of months break. I didn’t ride a motorcycle too much during the winter, I did two 20-minute rides on a motocross bike so today the feeling was a little strange for me, but it was nice to be back into some sort of rhythm with the team.”

“In terms of testing, today we were able to give some feedback immediately as we started with our testing programme, and at the moment we are going through a few small things that we have to try. Then the plan is that over the next two days we can test and evaluate some other things for Honda.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda Team commence first pre-season test at Sepang

Good weather conditions (max temperature: 31° C air, 42° ground) favoured day one of the first MotoGP pre-season test in Sepang, Malaysia, until rain began falling at 4 p.m.

The track had opened at 10 a.m., and Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa headed out 15 minutes later to get to work defining the setup of the RC213V, trying different engine configurations and spending also time testing new Michelin tyres. The afternoon downpour also gave Marc and Dani the opportunity to complete a few laps with a wet configuration.

Their best lap times for the day were 2’00.738 on lap 25 of 56 for Marquez (ninth) and 2’00.970 on lap 25 of 44 for Pedrosa (13th). Testing will continue for two more days.

Marc Marquez

9TH 2’00.738

“The feeling today wasn’t so bad considering that the first day after the holiday break is always a bit demanding for the rider and the team! We’ve been testing two bikes with different engine configurations, but we mainly concentrated on one, playing with electronics, geometry, setup and so on. We gathered a lot of information, and now we’ll keep working. We also decided to make the best of the situation when the rain arrived and did some laps in the wet, but we look forward to continuing testing in the dry tomorrow to better understand and exploit the potential of our bike.”

Dani Pedrosa

13TH 2’00.970

“Today I basically got reacquainted with riding my bike, with the track and the tyres, and I also rode for the first time on the new asphalt here at Sepang. We’ve started working on the bike as we have two different engine configurations to test. We mainly worked with one bike. We also had the chance to ride in the wet on that bike, and we got good information. Hopefully it won’t rain tomorrow, and I think we’ll be able to go more deep in the testing than we were today.”

More, from a press release issued by Avintia Racing:

Barbera and Baz start to work in Malaysia

The 2017 winter test officially started at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today. Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz were looking forward to get on their new bikes and both riders are satisfied with their progress, even though rain disrupted the first day of testing with more than two hours remaining,.

Hector Barbera had some new suspension parts for his Ducati Desmosedici GP16 and he finished the day in the top 10, one second behind fastest rider Casey Stoner, who did a fantastic lap in 1’59.680. Nevertheless, the Spanish rider is happy, knowing he can improve over the next two days.

His teammate Loris Baz spent the day working on his riding style. He wants to rider smoother, especially at this track where tyre consumption is always an issue. Even though he was 18th at the end of the day, the French rider was still happy with his performance.

The Sepang test will continue tomorrow from 10 am local time (3 am CET) and will be broadcast live on the official MotoGP website at www.motogp.com.

Hector Barbera | 2’00.743 | P10

“It was a good first day. We have mainly been working on the set up of the bike and although we had a little technical issue at the end, we were lucky because it happened just before the rain started. As we finished the day ahead of schedule, we saved one set of tyres and this was positive, because we don’t have too many tyres for the three days. Our lap time was quite good since we did not push too much. We worked on adapting the bike to my riding style and although we only did 38 laps, we got plenty of information. For tomorrow, we have some ideas that can help us improve. The track is completely different to Valencia and Jerez where we did quite well, but the 2017 season has really started in Malaysia today.”

Loris Baz | 2’01.352 | P18

“The first day was quite positive, because we did many laps in the morning and the feeling with the bike was good from the first lap. I feel in good shape and the injuries from last season are a thing of the past. Today I worked on my riding style, trying to make it smoother, especially at this track where the tyres suffer a lot. We also tried a few things on the bike that worked quite well, and all in all we improved steadily. We work in a calm way, step by step, with the aim to be ready when the season kicks off with the first race”.

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